Mitch McConnell Freeze Issue: Rand Paul doubts Capitol doctor provided ‘valid medical diagnosis’

Mitch McConnell Freeze
Michael Clevenger/Courier Journal via AP

Mitch McConnell Freeze Issue and Rand Paul doubts:

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, raised doubt about the recommendations in the letter from the attending physician at the Capitol about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell following his apparent freeze last week.

The Capitol’s attending physician, Dr. Brian Monahan, revealed in a letter on Tuesday that he had checked Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky after his most recent episode in front of media last week at a function in Covington, Kentucky. According to Monahan, there is “no evidence” that McConnell has Parkinson’s disease, a seizure problem, a stroke, a TIA, or any other movement illness.

In a statement released last week, Monahan said that he had “consulted” McConnell, 81, and “conferred” with his neurology team before determining that “he is medically clear to continue with his schedule as planned.” The medical professional continued, “Occasional lightheadedness is not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration.”

Paul, who is trained as an eye doctor, told reporters on Tuesday that it’s ideal for senators to be forthcoming about what’s going on with their health problems and he questioned the Capitol doctor’s explanation for McConnell’s collapse last week.

I can really just comment, I guess, on what they have disclosed because I’m not in the position to examine the radiologists or the X-rays, Paul added to reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday. An electroencephalogram, or “EEG,” is referred to as “and they have the Senate doctor saying he has a normal EEG.”

The issue with claiming that someone has a normal EEG and that they aren’t suffering seizures, he continued, is that well over 80% of patients who experience brief seizures have normal EEGs. You’re more likely to have abnormal EEGs if your seizures last longer, although even then, only about half of them do. A single EEG performed during an office visit frequently misses important information. Even a 24-hour EEG could make mistakes.

Paul asserted that he did not believe the Capitol physician offered “a valid medical diagnosis.”

Everyone has seen the videos, he claimed. “To say that is dehydration is not a legitimate medical diagnosis.”

Due to his health difficulties, Paul said he was unable to comment on whether McConnell’s workload is a concern. “I really can’t comment on it. I can only infer that dehydration isn’t the cause.

When asked if he believes McConnell will be able to lead the conference, Paul also declined to directly respond, although he did say that he believes McConnell has “been up to the task.”

In light of that, Paul added, this isn’t a criticism of him or anything; it’s a criticism of the way it’s being handled publicly, by giving a diagnosis that everyone thinks is a lot less than what it actually is. Therefore, people immediately assume, ‘Wow, it’s a lot worse than it actually is.’ However, it might be a highly treatable condition. One can treat seizures. Seizures are common in people with high-functioning occupations. Although many seizures that follow trauma go away, there are still many things I don’t know.

In comments made to NBC News on Wednesday, Paul reiterated his points, saying, really, it ought to be based on the facts if you’re giving guidance on, you know, what someone’s likely diagnosis is. And I can assure you that being unresponsive for 30 seconds or longer at a time is neither an indication nor a symptom of dehydration.

Paul further clarified that he is “not questioning” McConnell’s qualification for the Senate, but rather his diagnosis.

After he froze last week at an event in Kentucky and appeared unable to talk for nearly 30 seconds after a reporter asked him whether he wanted to run for re-election in 2026, concerns about McConnell’s health and capacity to lead Senate Republicans increased. His second apparent public freeze-up in two months occurred during this incident.

At a weekly leadership news conference in late July, McConnell similarly appeared to pause for over 20 seconds in front of the television cameras. The incident happened a few weeks after McConnell, a polio survivor who has had trouble managing stairs and other barriers, tripped when he stepped off a plane on July 14 at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, according to NBC News. The incident did not significantly damage him.

Prior to the alleged freeze-ups, McConnell reportedly had a tumble and concussion in March, which kept him out of action for close to six weeks.

Other Republican party members offered their assistance.

According to Sen. Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, he’s still on his game mentally, he said to reporters on Tuesday.

Republican senators Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Mitt Romney of Utah, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina stood by McConnell, telling reporters on Tuesday that they have no reservations about his capacity to serve.

In actuality, Romney said NBC News, “Mitch McConnell does a pretty darn fine job for the other 86,380 seconds in the day. We may expect him to check out for 20 seconds a day. He hasn’t shown any signs of being unable to lead in talks, raise money, help Republicans win elections, or support our caucus, in my opinion. He has demonstrated in the past that he is capable of doing it. He’ll keep acting in such manner in the future.

Graham stated that he will “just trust the doctor’s evaluation.”

He continued, I like Mitch, and, you know, let’s just move forward hoping that he’s in a good spot here, noting that he was delighted McConnell had been examined.

Credits: www.nbcnews.com

Learn More:

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Mitch McConnell The Senate Republican leader freezes during press conference for second time in weeks

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